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Flood- hit sparrow house gets facelift.

TOURISM in Mandakini valley may have witnessed a dip after the deluge that wreaked havoc in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand two years back, but now there is some good news for birdwatchers.

Fifty- five- year- old Yashpal Negi's sparrow house, commonly known as Negi's camp that had almost vanished after the 2013 floods, has got a makeover.

In June 2013, Negi lost his bird watching camp at Kakdagad near Ukhimath in Rudarprayag.

Leaving behind all the attachments with the old camp, which he had established in 2000, Negi shifted to his ancestral village Mukkumath.

Here, at Mukkumath village, nature lovers can spot about 150 bird species -- including Monal, Snow Partridge, Redheaded Bullfinch, Spot Winged

Grosbeak, Pink Browed Rosefinch, Eurasian Griffon, Himalyan Griffion, etc.

Jayesh Patel, a birdwatcher from Jamnagar, said: " I visited the new camp with lot of apprehension.

Earlier, I had stayed at Negi's Kakdagad camp, but bird watching was as exciting as ever at Mukkumath. I was able to photograph the rare Himalayan Monal." Negi said: " Leaving the two months of rainy season, bird watching can be done at Mukkumath for 10 long

months. A bird watcher can see over a 100 species at any time of the year here. I am booked for the next three months." Anup Shah, a Nainital- based photographer said: " I salute the dedication of Yashpal Negi.

Even the devastating floods failed to dampen his confidence and Negi is back to business." Despite possessing education up to standard 10, Yashpal has truly established his niche in a specialised field.

Negi undertook the nature guide's course of the state's forest department 15 years back and felt in love with winged creatures to start bird watching in Rudarprayag. Possibly the only one of its kind in the entire Uttarakhand.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Apr 17, 2015
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